The United States Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the Ford emissions certification process. The investigation was unveiled by the automaker itself through a regulatory notice sent to the SEC, the American financial markets supervisory committee.
The automaker has specified that everything started from an internal investigation after reporting some employees on possible problems with the system used to calculate pollutant emissions and vehicle consumption.
The employees raised questions about its anonymous Speak Up warning platform about analytical models used in regulatory procedures for energy conservation and emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx).
In response to concerns, the American company hired an independent specialist company in October to verify the specifications of on-road loading of vehicles.
The results of the investigation came on the table of the company managers in December and in February they were warned of the problem.
The second largest American car manufacturer after General Motors explained that it is “fully cooperating with all the competent authorities” and that the affair has nothing to do with the “defeat device”. The illegal software used by the German Volkswagen to lower emissions during laboratory tests and which caused the dieselgate to explode in September 2015.
In fact, at the end of February, the company itself revealed that it had started an internal investigation, with the assistance of an external company, to verify compliance with US emissions and fuel consumption requirements.
“Now our goal is to complete our investigations and in-depth technical analysis of the issue and work with government and regulatory agencies,” added Kim Pittel, Ford vice president with responsibility for sustainability, the environment and safety.
Ford claimed that it was unable to estimate the number of vehicles and models potentially involved. The group had informed the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California regulator to report these issues.
Yesterday, Ford in closed US markets announced the first quarter accounts and explained that it expects a better 2019 than the previous year.
In 2013, Ford had to correct the energy savings attributed to the C-Max Hybrid and compensate customers a year later after reviewing emissions data from six other models.